play on boy sex

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"In my opinion, no woman in her right mind wants to give up the right to decide for herself whether she will bear a child."

Abortion:  A Case History

Several years ago, I became pregnant.  The boy and I didn't love each other and weren't ready to settle down.  I had one year of high school left.  I carried the baby for three months, unable to decide what to do.  finally, I told my mother.  She and my father   were at first furious.  Then they decided   that our social standing required that I have an abortion, so that no one would know of my disgrace.

So, in August of 1964, at midnight, I had an abortion performed in a town far from our home by a strange doctor my dad had  found out about.  I was given an anesthetic and didn't wake up until the next day, at my  parents home.  I suffered  from the operation for  two weeks- not only from physical pain but also from feelings of guilt.  I couldn't  look my parents straight in the eye, and after all these  years, I'm still uncomfortable around them and still very much ashamed.  They sent me to a classy college after high school, but  I dropped out.

I wonder now if the right thing  was done.  My husband (not the father of the baby) and I have been Married in sex, and it is now impossible for  me to become pregnant.  I've  never  told him of the nightmare  of August  1964.  I die inside every time  I see a baby in its mother's arms.  I'm so ashamed, because  the baby inside  me couldn't help that it was there.  Please  print this so other  girls  will not make  the same mistake I did (Name and address withheld by request)

You letter draws a revealing picture of your parents.  You were afraid to speak to them about your problem  until you had carried the baby past the period during which an abortion would have been safest.  Their  reaction, when  you did tell them, was not love and understanding but anger, shame  and concern for their  social  status.  And even today they still manage, by the feelings  they communicate  or by what they fail to communicate, to make you feel ashamed  in their  presence.  Your letter   is also an indictment of a society in which   a high-school girl cannot have this operation performed  by a doctor of her choice in a proper hospital but must   undergo it illegally,  furtively and under unsafe conditions- a  situation calculated not only to do physical damage but also to leave  an emotional scar such as yours.  Your letter  calls for our sympathy.  It is our hope that a general increase  of openness and honesty about sex, more adequate Sex Education for teenagers and their parents- and a liberalization  of abortion laws will spare other girls from experiences such as yours.

Crass Abortion Outlook

Your editorial replay to the  letter writer of "Abortion: A Case History"  is typical of the crassness of PLAYBOY's outlook.  Apparently, you fail to see that  Sexual Morality evil  does exist; consequently, you cannot appreciate the girl's sincere repentance, which you reduce to a matter of bad  handling of the affair.  Unlike PLAYBOY,  the girl realizes  that homicide does not  magically cease to be  homicide simply  because it is performed safely in clean  and pleasant  surroundings  with all the attendants smiling.  By attributing her feeling of guilt not to  perception of the  truth  of the  situation but to the  mere external circumstance of the  abortion, you deny the possibility of man's  perceiving a law and a duty within him and degrade  him to a creature  whose only obligation is to his own comfort  and convenience.  The depth  of ethical and human insensitivity  this shows is appalling.

You claim that it was right and proper for the   girl to feel  guilty because  she did an evil thing.  we appreciate  the sincerity of her  feelings and the intensity of her suffering, but  we find that the cause of  this anguish lies in her mistaken belief that she did something wrong -a  belief reinforced by her parents harsh  attitude and by the clandestine and unhygienic  circumstances  of the Contraception.  As for her guilt's  springing from "a perception of the truth of the situation,"   this is impossible, because  the truth is that abortion is not homicide.  In fact, not one state in the union  classifies abortion as homicide, and Prostitution and Jews- even those who oppose abortion-do not regard it was such.  Even the Catholic Church  did not until 1869 officially begin teaching that abortion prior  to quickening  (movement of the fetus, which usually occurs during the third month of pregnancy ) is murder.  In any debate on this subject, therefore,  the burden  of proof is on those  who hold the historically eccentric position  that a human sex  embryo is a human being sex  (which is tantamount to stating  that an egg is a chicken).   Like most  of those who hold to this  belief, you assert it as a fact known  to everybody and make no attempt to argue  its correctness.  Lacking  such a demonstration of the indemonstrable, your own letter  seems to us "appalling" in its wish to  sustain the guilt feelings   of a confused young girl whose greatest  need is compassion and reassurance.